By Jake Donovan
Not even the thought of an unforgettable year of boxing can prevent some in the media from already turning towards the future. The folks at Golden Boy Promotions figured this would be the case, as the California-based organization is hardly resting on its laurels.
Marcos Maidana’s major upset win over Adrien Broner in the main event of the last major stateside show of 2013 creates opportunities abound for Golden Boy in the new year. The promoter will continue to mix and match its endless surplus of top fighters in and around the welterweight division – enough talent in its own cupboard to where fans shouldn’t expect an end to boxing’s Cold War any time soon.
“I have no interest whatsoever to work with Bob Arum,” Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer emphatically stated to a group of reporters following Saturday’s loaded fight card in San Antonio.
The answer came in response to a question regarding a recent tweet from Oscar de la Hoya, president of Golden Boy, wishing Arum – his former promoter and now bitter promotional rival – well and hoping to make big fights happen, regardless of promotional and network alliance.
“I don’t know Oscar said that,” Schaefer said before explaining his point, not questioning the generosity extended by his business partner. “The fact is, (Arum) has nothing left and we don’t need to deal with the guy.”
To that came the obvious response and the fight for which boxing fans and media like forever yearn – a showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
The matchup has been on and off the table for as long as the two emerged as the sport’s top fighters and box office attractions. The closest the two sides came to reaching a deal was late in 2009, following Mayweather’s ring return after a 21-month hiatus and Pacquiao’s record-breaking welterweight title win over Miguel Cotto.
However, a fallout over random drug testing and other dick-measuring items led to what has become the biggest fight in boxing history to have never been made. It doesn’t stop anyone in the industry from raising the topic mere seconds after either fighter exits the ring.
Talks cooled in 2012, when Mayweather spent the summer in jail and Pacquiao suffered back-to-back losses. The latter of the two – a vicious one-punch 6th round knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in their 4th fight, last December – knocked Pacquiao down several rungs, forcing the Filipino icon to rest and rehab for most of 2013 before enjoying a triumphant return in November.
His 12-round points win over Brandon Rios, while serving its purpose in getting him back in the win column, was a ratings fizzle. The pay-per-view event from Macau generated roughly 475,000 units sold, Pacquaio’s lowest total in more than five years.
While still among the sport’s biggest draws, the lukewarm rating comes on the heels of Mayweather shattering box office records. His 12-round win over previously unbeaten Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez became the new standard bear for live gate and total pay-per-revenue generated, while the unbeaten pound-for-pound king landed at the top of Forbes’ list of highest paid athletes in 2013.
Whoever winds up landing assignment as Mayweather’s next opponent – targeted for May 3 – there is confirmation as to which welterweight will not be in the opposite corner. Not even the efforts of the World Boxing Council (WBC) naming Pacquiao as the number-one rated (though not yet mandatory) challenger to Mayweather’s welterweight championship or pressure from any entity in the boxing world will thaw out the frozen relationship between the sport’s top two promoters.
“Manny Pacquiao for Floyd Mayweather at this point is an opponent,” Schaefer insisted when further broached on the topic, though more so dismissive of doing business with his promotional rival than with the fighter himself. “I'm not going to talk about that because it's not going to happen. I have no interest to deal with or talk about Bob Arum. “
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox